Modernity was founded in Stockholm in 1998 by Scottish dealer Andrew Duncanson, specializing in furniture from the most renowned Scandinavian designers of the 20th Century. Duncanson and co-owner Isaac Pineus invited Adrian Sassoon, UK's leading gallery for contemporary decorative art and design, to collaborate in presenting a compelling and innovatively curated display of their distinctive signature collections in a grand Georgian mansion. Scroll through the gallery below (Photography: All courtesy images) to discover more:
The Grade II listed Palladian-style mansion, built-in 1770, has been stripped back to the brick, in preparation for a full restoration and development into an ultra-modern office space. Architectural practice William Smalley was appointed to restore the space, leaving only its original features such as the stone floors, ornate cornicing, and elegant shuttered windows.
Furniture and objet d'art are spread over the eight rooms set over five floors and connected by a stunning, original stone staircase allowing an unprecedented appreciation of a curated ensemble of 20th Century Nordic design. This is a rare chance to experience the pieces in a domestic setting, which is both exciting and inspiring. The building's dilapidated grandeur provides a dramatic backdrop to the curation with its stripped-back walls and exposed rafters juxtaposed with graceful period details.
Modernity's classic pieces by leading Finnish, Swedish, and iconic Danish design furniture set against raw plaster walls are breathtakingly beautiful—providing a starck contrast between the rough interior and the beautiful vintage furniture.
Sassoon's highlights include a series of monumental hand-painted vases by acclaimed contemporary artist Felicity Aylieff. A stunning bowl by acclaimed British ceramicist Kate Malone MBE entitled Atomic Snow Bowl (2020) has her characteristic crystalline glaze. Danish glassblower Tobias Møhl's new Seven-Part Leaf Collection (2020) comprises seven vessels containing delicate strands of woven and twisted coloured glass. Japanese artist Hitomi Hosono's intricate shallow vessel, Pine Tree Pool (2019), has a captivating landscape of gently twisting porcelain leaves set within it.
Meanwhile, Modernity's exceptional contemporary pieces include instantly recognisable classics, such as an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair and a pair of Alvar Aalto's Armchair Number 31, as well as iconic Nordic gems that include a Chieftain Chair by the late Danish architect Finn Juhl (1949), and a K2-33 pierced brass model Ceiling Light by Paavo Tynell for Taito Oy (designed in the 1950s) created to hang in a Finnish church. Alongside, there’s a stunning "Flora" model 852 designed by Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn, Sweden 1937, in mahogany, birch interior, and hand-painted paper.